Restaurant News & Reviews

New chef coming to one of Ouita Michel’s restaurants. He’s ‘deft with seafood.’

Renowned Central Kentucky restaurateur Ouita Michel has appointed a new chef for one of her key properties.

Lawrence Weeks has been named executive chef of Honeywood at The Summit at Fritz Farm.

Weeks will replace Josh Smouse, who was the executive chef when the restaurant opened in 2017; Smouse has been named culinary operations manager for Michel’s restaurant group.

Michel said Weeks’ strengths come from his upbringing. His mother’s family is from Southwest Louisiana and the Creole and Cajun influences.

“Lawrence is deft with seafood, emphasizing sustainability and the Creole flavors he grew up with,” Michel said. “I love his creativity, and the way his food pops with flavor. His plates tell the story of Kentucky but from a brand new and exciting perspective.”

Weeks has worked in the restaurant industry for a decade, beginning at The Pig and The Pearl in Atlanta. In Louisville, he started LocalsOnly, a popup restaurant that gained traction regionally.

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Lawrence Weeks has been named executive chef at Honeywood, chef Ouita Michel’s restaurant at The Summit. Jared Mouton

Now at Honeywood and Smithtown Seafood, Weeks is focusing on using sustainably sourced seafood, according to the announcement.

“Making a move to Lexington and working with Ouita has brought a new vision to how important Kentucky foodways and sustainable practices are,” Weeks said in a statement.

Michel, who has been nominated for multiple James Beard awards, also owns Holly Hill Inn, Smithtown Seafood, Windy Corner Market, Midway Bakery, Zim’s Cafe, Wallace Station and handles events for Fasig-Tipton.